£67,500 Awarded for Military Hearing Loss Claim

£67,500 Awarded for Military Hearing Loss Claim
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Case by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott Updated:

What was the Case?

Our client was employed as a Colour Sergeant within the British Army in the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, from August 1998 until February 2021. During his employment, his exposure to loud weapons and machinery resulted in his military hearing loss.

From 1998 until 2006, he was a GRSM. Then from 2006 to 2009, he was a Lance Corporal. From 2009 to 2013 he was a Lieutenant Sergeant. From 2013 to 2016 he was a Sergeant and from 2016 until his retirement in 2021 he was a Colour Sergeant.

Our client was required to travel to numerous locations to participate in conflicts. Additionally, he would carry out live exercises both in different countries and in the UK.

Areas of Deployment Resulting in Hearing Loss

He provided the following information as to where he was deployed and subsequently exposed:

  • Canada: During his time in Canada, he was exposed to noise when he was firing Milan Anti-Tank weapons.
  • Iraq: In Iraq, he was exposed to noise from constant mortar firing, and illumination rounds every day on tour for 6 months. He was also exposed to noise from firing his own personal weapon with no hearing protection fitted due to being told not to wear them as part of operational requirements. He recalls in 2004 new hearing protection was provided but this was not issued to him.
  • Afghanistan: Our client was also deployed on 3 tours of Afghanistan. During this time, he faced exposure to various loud noises when they were tracking in armoured vehicles and firing personal weapons with no ear defenders. If any ear defenders were provided, then they were not fit for purpose.

Army Weapons Resulting in Our Client’s Hearing Loss

During his deployment, he would be exposed for various periods of time to loud noises. This time would depend on what operation tour he was deployed on and how long he would be required to be stationed on deployment. On average he would be in an armoured vehicle over 12 hours a day depending on what role/task he was situated on.

Our client was exposed to many weapons over his service ranging from SAJO, GPMG, LMG, Milan, HMG, Grenades, Pistols, and various amounts of ammunition depending on range requirements or deployment. He was also exposed to armoured vehicles over his service ranging from Saxons and Mastiffs to name but a few. Additionally, he was exposed to many more MOD vehicles and also helicopters.

When using his own personal weapon, it would be situated on his shoulder when firing. These weapons are heavy and were used in the prone position with the head and ear close to the weapon. There was also ammunition noise of 5.56mm from rifle 7.76 from GPMG (guns).

Our client recalls that it was hard and sometimes impossible to communicate if the section or PLT weapons were firing at one time.

Lack of Hearing Protection

Our client recalls that at the start of his career, he was issued with basic green Peltor or standard yellow buds to push in the ear. However, he was never issued with the moulded ones due to him not being sized or fitted for these before any deployments.

Our client did wear hearing protection that was provided when required but this was mainly towards the earlier stage of his employment. However, this hearing protection was not good at blocking the noise.

During regular hearing tests within the Armed Forces, he was only told whether he had passed or failed. During his final medical around 2020, he was advised that his right ear had failed. As a result, he was advised to seek hospital advice.

Medically Diagnosed Hearing Loss

After his visit to Sunderland Hospital, our client was issued a hearing aid in his right ear.

A medical report was obtained on this matter in evidence and support of his condition of Military Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. He was additionally diagnosed with tinnitus. Both of these diagnoses were due to his service from Graham Cox. A further report from an audiologist was also requested in relation to the provision of hearing aids.

Expert Help from AWH’s Industrial Disease Solicitors

With the help of AWH’s industrial disease solicitor, Stacy Pimlott, our client was awarded £67,500.00 in damages for their hearing loss claim.

The Military’s Responsibility To Protect Employees From Hearing Loss

Under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, businesses and organisations are required to protect the health and safety of all their employees by managing noise levels in the workplace to prevent hearing loss.

If your workplace has a lot of loud noise, your employer should:

  • Act to reduce noise exposure
  • Provide protective equipment
  • Ensure legal limits of noise exposure are not exceeded
  • Monitor and maintain all equipment and machinery
  • Provide health and safety information and training to all staff exposed to noisy environments
  • Carry out health surveillance on employees at risk

If your employer is failing to adhere to the above responsibilities, they are likely failing to protect you. As a result, this could lead to you suffering hearing loss. If you have experienced hearing loss or damage, speak to our solicitors to start your hearing loss claim.

Making a Claim for Hearing Loss in the Armed Forces

If you have experienced hearing loss in the armed forces resulting in permanent or disabling hearing damage, we can help you with your hearing loss claim to get you the compensation you deserve. Start your workplace hearing loss claim with AWH today on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Get in touch